Mark E. Ortega

Bits & Pieces: Ali makes GBP debut, Tomlinson moves to L.A.

Ali makes Golden Boy debut Sept. 30

2008 U.S. Olympian Sadam Ali held himself back early in his professional career by refusing to sign with a major promotional company, instead going on his own.

Ali finally aligned himself with Golden Boy Promotions earlier this year, and makes his debut in a headlining bout of a Fox Sports 1 card on Sept. 30. It’ll be the most exposure he’s received since turning pro in January of 2009. It’ll be part of Golden Boy’s Monday night series, Golden Boy on FOX, and will take place in Ali’s hometown of Brooklyn at the Cushman & Wakefield Theater at Barclays Center.

Ali (16-0, 10 KOs) will fight the unheralded Jay Krupp (17-5, 8 KOs) in his first fight of 2013.

The undercard is highlighted by an intriguing crossroads bout between two young junior welterweights as Carlos Molina and Michael Perez meet in the co-feature. Both have previously fought as lightweights but will fight for a regional title at 140 pounds. Both Perez (18-1-2, 10 KOs) and Molina (17-1-1, 7 KOs) have suffered one defeat.

2012 U.S. Olympian Marcus Browne meets journeyman Kevin Engel in a light heavyweight bout.

 

Free agent Tomlinson makes move from Oz to LA in search of new challenges

Junior lightweight standout Will Tomlinson could have chose to stick it out in his homeland of Australia, facing modest opposition as he climbs the ranks in search of a major title shot.

Tomlinson is one of only two junior lightweights ranked by all four of the major sanctioning bodies, meaning it was only a matter of time before he’d get his opportunity.

Tomlinson decided he wanted to be ready when the time came and opted to move to Los Angeles in order to continue his profession. As a promotional free agent, Tomlinson hopes to land with one of the top promoters in the United States who can help guide his career.

Tomlinson is currently shopping around for a trainer and has spent some time working at the famed Wild Card Boxing Club helmed by Freddie Roach.

Once Tomlinson finds his trainer, he’ll shift focus to finding a fight stateside.

“First things first, I’m in no rush and want to make sure I do this properly,” said Tomlinson.

“First I want to lock in a trainer I feel good with. Someone I’m comfortable with and feel like I can trust, then once I’ve done that, look to get a fight.”

It’s a move Tomlinson had plotted ever since landing a fight with former 130-pound titlist Malcolm Klassen earlier this year.

“When I got the Klassen fight, I said, ‘Alright, if I win this fight then I’m going to move to the States’,” said Tomlinson this last Saturday to RingTV.com.

Klassen gave Tomlinson a very tough fight in May with the Australian prevailing on the scorecards in a twelve-rounder. It’s the fifth time Tomlinson has gone twelve in his career.

Though he’s one of the most promising fighters from Australia currently, he was constantly overshadowed by the circus that surrounded other, more prominent names in the area.

“In Australia, the media likes to cover boxing mostly when there’s a slight twist to it,” said Tomlinson.

“You’ve got to be more than just a good fighter, you’ve got to make headlines. If you’re not making headlines, it’s impossible for you to gain a following. The reason [Anthony] Mundine and [Danny] Green grew to that mainstream level is they were leveraging off each other.”

Mundine and Green may not even be the most skilled or most exciting fighters to come from Australia in recent years. Daniel Geale and Michael Katsidis could easily be in that conversation but were never near as popular there as Green and Mundine.

“Mundine had that big football fan base,” said Tomlinson. “Mundine could be the only fighter in history where every fight he’s had has been a pay-per-view.”

Tomlinson felt he’d gone as far as he could as a boxer in Australia, which is partly the reason for the move.

“I’ve gotten to a certain level in Australia boxing where I don’t think I can go too much further,” said Tomlinson.

“In order for me to make that next step in my career I knew I had to come to the States and try to make it work out here. I don’t have any interest being in this sport sort of just plodding along. I want to continue to grow and continue to develop.”

Considering he could have made decent money by sticking it out at home, it’s a bold move. It’s always a good thing to see a fighter willing to make changes in order to further their career and progression. Time will tell if it pans out.

 

Boxing returns to Roseville, Calif., on Oct. 12

Putting together their fourth card of 2013, club show promoter OPP Presents returns to Roseville, Calif., on Oct. 12 with a seven-bout card.

Last November, OPP gained a bit of notoriety for putting together a show topped by the comeback of former welterweight titlist James Page, who was returning after more than a decade in the clink. Page was knocked out and returned to crime and was put back in jail earlier this year.

Promising junior middleweight prospect Aaron Coley (7-0, 4 KOs) against an opponent still to be determined in a six-round bout.

The card also features heavyweight LaRon Mitchell (1-0, KO), who was a former standout amateur, and an intriguing four-round junior welterweight bout between unbeaten Richmond, Calif., fighters Aldwayne Simpson (4-0, 2 KOs) and Ulises Soriano (2-0-1). The card takes place at the Placer County Fair & Events Center.

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